Reasons to Oppose Branstad’s Bullying Bill SF 345

iowa-golden-dome.jpgHere are 12 reasons to oppose SF 345, Governor Terry Branstad’s signature anti-bullying legislation that is being considered in the Iowa House.

  1. No apparent request from school districts or parents to compel this legislation
  2. Expands school authority and responsibility outside of school
  3. Exposes school employees to liability
  4. Causes an extra burden to school districts–an unfunded mandate
  5. Expands bureaucracy at state and local levels
  6. Takes away parental authority
  7. Potentially takes away authority of law enforcement
  8. Allows referral to outside agencies without parental consent
  9. Limits local control and centralizes anti-bullying efforts, reducing community and family influence
  10. Potentially violates families’ and students’ privacy rights and 1st Amendment rights
  11. May replicate or diminish effective current anti-bullying programs
  12. Puts more requirements on all schools currently struggling to keep up with academic requirements

Heather Stancil points out specific troubling language in the bill.

  • Schools are now allowed to monitor all types of electronic communications, including social networking sites, which are not under the authority or ownership of the school (p.1 lines 29-32).
  • Schools are now allowed to investigate and impose discipline on children for what they consider bully behavior at private locations and functions (p.2 lines 18-23)
  • Schools are now allowed to including bullying as a reportable event (like child abuse), and are able to bypass parents and report a child’s private behavior at private functions/locations to third parties for discipline, including community based agencies, social services, and law enforcement (p. 2 lines 34 &35, and p. 3 lines 1-2).

We encourage you to contact the Governor’s office with your concern and contact your State Representative and House Leadership.

 

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